Possible Bomb Found Near Fort Lauderdale City Hall and New Times Office (UPDATED)
The "suspicious package," a maroon suitcase.
The bomb-scare lockdown of schools in Pembroke Pines has been lifted, but a related threatening email promising "something big happening" today at Broward government buildings is apparently being taken seriously.
Police say a "suspicious package" has been found on North Andrews Avenue between Third and Fourth streets. They have closed off that section of the street, which is a block away from Fort Lauderdale City Hall.
Around 2:30 p.m., onlookers in the New Times parking lot, directly across the street from the package location, were told to leave the area or stay inside. Police officers on the scene were not releasing further information about the incident or saying whether it was related to this morning's lockdown.
More details as we have them.
Update 2:54 p.m.: Workers from the office building at Fourth and Andrews, which shares a parking lot with New Times, say that someone in their building put in the call about the suspicious package. It's a maroon suitcase standing upright next to a silver four-door sedan parked at the southwest corner of the intersection.
Update 3:17 p.m.: A bomb squad robot -- which looks kind of like this one -- is inspecting the package.
3:48: A loud noise that sounded like an explosion was heard near the package, although police are not letting anyone stand within view of it. A view from the New Times roof reveals that the suitcase is intact but partially open, and the robot is still handling it.
4:30: Looks like the excitement's over. Police say they used water to burst open the suitcase, which appears to have been full of clothes. Streets are being reopened.
A photo of the anticlimactic cleanup is after the jump.
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